For more than 25 years, the 340B program has enabled hospitals that care for many low-income and uninsured patients to purchase certain outpatient drugs from drug companies at discounted prices
WASHINGTON (August 21, 2020) — Today, the American Hospital Association (AHA) sent letters to the heads of U.S. operations for five large drug companies – Merck, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Novartis and AstraZeneca – expressing “profound concern” over actions they are taking to limit the distribution of certain 340B drugs to hospitals and health systems and asking them to “cease this conduct immediately.”
These actions range from limiting the distribution of certain 340B drugs to demanding, on short notice, superfluous, detailed reporting on 340B drugs distributed through hospitals’ contract pharmacies. It is an outrage that these actions are being taken at a time when hospitals are in the midst of their response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, which has further demonstrated the fractured, inadequate state of the prescription drug supply chain. Instead of supporting the hospitals caring for communities ravaged by the public health crisis, these companies are attempting to compel hospitals to divert critical resources away from the pandemic.
The letters conclude by urging the drug companies to:
“cease this conduct immediately and to work to ensure that 340B drugs are available and accessible to vulnerable communities and populations. 340B hospitals serve communities with a high volume of low-income patients. For a drug company to jeopardize hospitals’ ability to care for patients who are already under severe economic, emotional and health-related strain during a public health crisis is unconscionable.”
AHA’s letter to Merck can be found HERE.
AHA’s letter to Eli Lilly can be found HERE.
AHA’s letter to Sanofi can be found HERE.
AHA’s letter to Novartis can be found HERE.
AHA’s letter to AstraZeneca can be found HERE.
In July, the AHA sent a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to direct the Health Resources and Services Administration to take action to stop drug companies from limiting the distribution of 340B drugs to 340B covered entities. That letter can be found HERE.